What two things do all whiskeys have in common?
They are made from grains and matured in oak.
What are the main grains used to make whiskey?
Barely, corn, wheat, and rye
What is the process of converting starch to sugar in barley?
Enzymes are created and convert the starch to sugar.
What is wort?
Malted barley is crushed into a coarse flour and mixed with warm water where the enzymes convert the starch to sugar and create a sweet liquid called wort.
If not malted, how are other grains processed for fermentation when making whiskey?
Other grains are crushed, mixed with water and cooked at high temps to convert starch into a soluble form.
Some malted barley is added to this liquid, the enzymes help convert the starch to sugar.
How is whiskey aged?
Most whiskeys are matured in oak barrels for several years - distillers want a balance between oak flavors and flavors from the grains.
Where does Bourbon most often come from and what are the requirements to be called Bourbon?
The majority of Bourbon is made in Kentucky (but does not have to be).
It must be at least 51% corn, matured in new oak barrels, and no more than 80% abv.
What are the requirements when making Tennessee Whiskey?
- Can only be made in Tennessee
- Must be at least 51% corn
- Matured in new charred-oak barrels
- Must be filtered through maple-wood charcoal as newly made spirit before going in the barrels (Lincoln County Process)
What are the requirements for Rye Whiskey?
Must be 51% rye grains (gives these whiskies a spicy flavor).
Rye whiskey is characterized by spicy, lemon zest, rye-bread aromas.
What type of whiskey are often blends of a small amount of a very pronounced whiskey with a light whiskey made of corn.
Canadian Rye Whisky
The flavoring whiskies used are often made from rye.
What are the requirements for Single Malt Scotch Whisky?
Single = One distillery. Malt = Malted Barley. Can only be made using malted barley, and must be distilled using a pot still, must be matured minimum 3 years in oak barrels. Must be the product of one distillery, but can have blends of ages. Known for malt/cereal flavors. May have peat aromas, most are aged in second hand barrels first used for bourbon or sherry
Damp, partial decayed vegetation cut from ground, dried, and burnt to produce aromatic smoke (used to as fuel to heat grains at the end of malting) adds smokey flavor
What is a blend of malt and grain whisky from different distilliers in Scotland called?
Blended Scotch Whisky
Describe the characteristics of Irish Whiskeys?
- Most are a blend of pot and column still spirits
- Typically lighter in style than Scotch whisky
- Malt whiskeys are typically triple rather than double distilled in pot stills
- Commonly use unmalted barley (gives spicy, fruity, oily aromas)
Describe the characteristics of whisky made in Japan.
They are made using the Scottish production model, but tend to have purer style and less malty cereal flavors.
What are flavoring grains?
A combination of grains used in whiskey to add extra flavor and character to whiskey.
The combination of grains producers used is called a mash bill.
What are some sources of flavors used in making Scotch Whiskies?
- Using peat as a fuel to heat the grains, inparts a smoky flavor
- Shape of the pot still influences the aromas, a shorter still produces more pronounced aromas
- Source of the oak used, second hand barrels are most often used
Describe the flavors imparted on Scotch whiskies depending on the barrels used.
- Bourbon barrels give coconut, vanilla and spice aromas
- Sherry barrels from the wine region of Jerez in Spain give aromas of dried fruit and orange peels
- Use of wood 'finishing barrels' allow some of the liquid in the staves to come out and add flavor
What are the 5 whisky regions in Scotland?
When listed on the label, this tells the consumer where the distillery is located.
What does the number of years aged tell us about the whisky?
It tells us the age of the youngest whisky used in the blend.
What does Blended Scotch Whisky tell us on the label?
The whisky is was made from a blend of malt and grain whisky.
What does the word single indicate on the label?
The whisky is from one distillery.
What is a malt scotch whisky?
The whisky was made from malted barley and distilled in pot stills.
What term do distillers use to indicate that the whisky was transferred into a seperate set of Sherry barrels after the main maturation time?
Sherry Cask Finish
What technique is used to stop a whisky from becoming hazy?
Some producers this technique may remove flavors and texture.
What does it mean if you see Natural Color on the label?
All color comes from the oak barrels used.
What term is used to describe an undiluted whisky?
What is Single Barrel Bourbon?
Bourbon made in one barrel the the producer considers to be very good.
What does the term Small Batch indicate?
A blend from a small number of select casks.
When the acidic residue from the column still has been added back to the fermenter, this is called?
This is widely used in American whiskey production.